UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

Vida goes bananas for Detroit River

TRENTON, Mich. - In 10 years of FLW Outdoors competition, Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., has notched seven victories, five of which have come on the Detroit River, Lake Erie or Lake St. Clair. Therefore it was a shock to no one to see the name Kevin Vida at the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of this week's EverStart Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. Numbers fell off dramatically on day four, with only four out of 10 pros bringing in a limit. Vida was one of the four, improving his day-three catch by exactly 1 ounce and proving his Saturday morning prediction that if he could get his bass to bite today, he'd bring in 18 pounds. Vida ended day one in 19th place and steadily worked his way up to the top, advancing to the finals from the ninth position with an opening-round catch of 35 pounds, 1 ounce. He caught more than 18 pounds three days running, hauling in 18 pounds, 5 ounces on day three and 18 pounds, 6 ounces on day four. Kevin Vida pumps his fist as heThe win marks Vida's third EverStart Series victory, and he says he won all three on the same bait - a green-pumpkin tube. "I was told about five years ago, `You'll win when you're least expecting to win,'" Vida said. "I wasn't expecting this." Vida, a self-proclaimed river man, stayed put at the mouth of the Detroit River to bring in consistently solid stringers of bass. Though he avoided the big-water/big-wave mess that shook up Erie fishermen all week, Vida said he still got wet. "It's been a fun four days but a rough four days," he said. "I'm three miles out, and I'm still getting soaked every day. These guys going all the way to Pelee - I would never do it." Vida says he did have a bit of an issue with local traffic today, as a local tournament with a good number of boats was also competing in the area. His bright orange, Banana Boat-wrapped Ranger probably didn't help him stay incognito. "We had a lot of boats out there, and I kept my cool, and fortunately for me and Neil (Heiden, co-angler winner), we came out ahead in this one," Vida said. "The guys were all around me. One guy got close, but for the most part, they stayed away." Vida also used a Berkley Frenzy lipless crankbait in blue chrome to search out his bass in practice, and he combined that with the tube rigged with 1/2-ounce and 1/4-ounce jigheads to bring in his limits during the tournament. He fished mostly shallow water. "I caught more fish today than I did yesterday," he said. "I lost a couple this morning, and I thought that was going to kill me." Kevin Vida poses with his Detroit River trophy.He estimates he caught 10 keepers today, some coming on his primary spot in the river at the mouth of Lake Erie but others coming on a deeper rock pile. "I got four and moved, and I caught a 3 1/2-pounder right away and two more that helped me," he said. Though he got soaked by the waves, he wasn't as bothered by that as much as the adjustments that this week's wacky weather required. "The currents were changing on me," he said. "On one spot, it made the currents favorable - it stacked the fish a little better." For the win, Vida earned $8,400 cash plus a fully rigged Ranger boat. He also earned contingency money from Yamaha, Garmin and Ranger Cup. Reault takes runner-up spot David Reault took second place with a 35-pound, 5-ounce total over the final two days.Finishing in the No. 2 spot is Livonia, Mich., pro David Reault with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 5 ounces worth $8,400. Reault, who has three BFL victories on this fishery, brought in 16 pounds, 8 ounces today to earn his career-best EverStart finish. To hear him tell it, finishing second was no walk in the park. Rather, it was an uphill battle to retain his position all four days. He was eighth on days one and two and third on day three before finishing the tournament in second. "I've had some really good weights that don't reflect that I haven't caught a lot of fish," Reault said. "I've really struggled - it's been a challenge. I'm pleased to have done as well as I have." Reault utilized a host of baits to reel in his bass, including tubes, spinner baits and jerkbaits, in addition to doing a little drop-shotting. "I stayed in the river today," he said. "I went into Erie, and it was rough and muddy, and I couldn't do anything." He managed to catch about eight keepers today in the more fishable river. Goodman lands in third Patrick Goodman took third place despite a change in location on the final day.Also earning his career-best EverStart finish this week is White Pigeon, Mich., pro Patrick Goodman, who caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 5 ounces to earn $8,000. Goodman is also a well-known Detroit River stick, with all four of his FLW Outdoors top-10 finishes coming on the Detroit River/Erie/St. Clair fishery. Goodman's final-day catch of four bass weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces came as a bit of a relief to him, as his bass-rich rock pile that he thought was dried out wound up being too rough to fish. "I was so worried about my rock pile," he said. "I made it there today, and it took me an hour and a half, and it was dirty with 10- to 12-footers. I said, `We've got to go back to the river.'" What's incredible about that is Goodman's proclaimed ignorance of the river, an ignorance that still produced a sack good enough for third. "I caught that last one with 20 minutes to go," he said. "I knew if I could get one more I could have it, but I just couldn't do it." Dowd, Ferguson round out top five Mark Dowd landed in the No. 4 spot with a two-day catch of 32-4.Finishing the tournament in the No. 4 spot is Westland, Mich., pro Mark Dowd, who caught a 15-pound, 2-ounce limit today to boost his two-day total to 32 pounds, 4 ounces. He earned $7,350 for his fourth-place finish. "I got into this tournament with no practice, and basically there's one spot that's been producing every day," Dowd said. "Today my primary didn't work, so my co-angler (Jeff Harris) gave me a schooling." Art Ferguson III of St. Clair Shores, Mich., scored yet another Detroit River/Erie/St. Clair top-10 finish with a fifth-place showing this week. His 16-pound, 9-ounce catch today brought his final-round total to 30 pounds, 11 ounces, which earned him $6,850. "It was a different kind of day for me - I woke up, and I was really tired," Ferguson said. "I couldn't even think. I started on a spot down here in the river, and I'd been running to St. Clair every day. I struggled all day long." Best of the rest Rounding out the top 10 pros at the EverStart Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River: 6th: Joe Balog of Harrison Township, Mich., eight bass, 29-1, $5,850 7th: Thomas Moleski of Elkhart, Ind., six bass, 25-12, $4,850 8th: Eric Struif of Lake Villa, Ill., six bass, 12-11, $4,350 9th: Tony DeFilippo of Lake Ann, Mich., two bass, 7-9, $3,850 10th: Nate Wellman of Jenison, Mich., two bass, 7-8, $3,350 Rose, Jancasz claim points titles Pro Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., is the 2005 Northern Division pro angler of the year.This year's Northern Division pro angler of the year is Marion, Ark., pro Mark Rose, who finished the year ranked No. 1 with 735 points. His best finish of the year was 12th at this week's event, and he finished in the top 25 at all four Northern Division events. Trevor Jancasz of White Pigeon, Mich., took co-angler-of-the-year honors with 731 points this season. He opened the season on the Detroit River with a fifth-place finish and did not finish lower than 29th at any of the four Northern Division tournaments. Coming up This week's event was the final regular-season EverStart Series event of the year. The EverStart Series Championship will be held on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala., Nov. 2-5.

Tags: headline-story  jennifer-simmons 

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Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Most of the other top top-10 finishers found their fish over rocky bottom structure around the Pelee area. Drop-shots and crankbaits dominated the catches. READ MORE »

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Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

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Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

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Experience Pays for Boggs

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Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

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Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

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Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

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Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

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Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

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Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

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Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

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Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

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Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

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Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »